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Being completely clear on goals, roles, and contributions can promote commitment and team cohesion. For parents looking online for content for their children, who may not be familiar with different websites, movies or apps, or unsure how to tell what might be safe or age-appropriate, this post is for you. Common Sense Media provides two different options for digital citizenship education. How might this impact your childs motivation to do their schoolwork? It is important to remain aware (and equally appreciative for any help they provide) that the schools and school districts are not required to assist homeschooling families, and that submitting an intent to withdraw (and/or an intent to homeschool) does have a direct impact on their budget, as they are funded on a per-student basis. prwatech The pause for them is a huge change and requires adjustment, but provides an opportunity for us, as parents, to teach them how to slow down and be ok with being bored or finding their own activities. Our children need to be able to disagree and question things when concepts or instructions arent clear to them. (Note that this is not a comprehensive list.) If you are teaching more than one child, you will need to decide, based on their ages, maturity levels and possibly reading levels, whether you need to plan separate work for each, or whether you can plan once and have them all working on the same work. On top of a foundation of trust is constructive conflict. To this day, we stand by that rule and have had very few issues. However, we can control our reaction to it by staying safe, keeping our family safe, and following the Center for Disease Control (CDC) (2020) guidelines posted here: In my experience homeschooling and working full time (from various locations and time zones), the biggest lesson I learned was that I needed to be organized, but also flexible. If yours has not done so, or you would like to supplement the work provided to your kids, there are many approaches to doing so. (n.d.). Digital Passport. Many state and local education-related publications have language that indicates that the notice of intent to homeschool and the portfolio reviews are required.

Retrieved April 19, 2020, from https://www.commonsensemedia.org/game-reviews, Focus on the Family. The traditional homeschooling community is extreme in their desire to be unregulated and to have full freedom to educate their children however they wish, with minimal or no governmental intervention or oversight. (n.d.). With everyone rushing around trying to figure out what they are going to do for the fall, it is important to also pause, step back, and consider how the plans you make for the fall fit into your future educational plans. Retrieved April 19, 2020 from https://grownandflown.com/soft-skills-for-teens/, Minecraft. (2020). Retrieved March 25, 2020, from https://www.earthcam.com/events/animalcams/, National University Library. (n.d.). K12. Retrieved June 24, 2020, from https://hslda.org/legal, HSLDA. As parents, educators, and administrators, (and our children) we are all part of a team with a common goal of ensuring that our children are safe, cared for, and that their learning is promoted and supported in all ways possible. Write a list of the equipment you used to make your fort. Best Kids Yoga Videos on YouTube. For those that had more meetings than others, I allocated the time for the meetings first, and then figured out what schoolwork I could fit in. What if schools are opened in a virtual-only format to start the school year and transition to blended or alternating schedule formats, or even full capacity later in the school year? Remember the CDC guidelines and be innovative in your organization and space planning. Best of luck with this years educational adventures. (This is a big deciding factor that can save or cost you a lot of time and stress. If you want more information prior to pursuing this option, your best bet is likely to reach out to the school or district directly for more information about what the portfolio review might look like, what kind of support and guidance you can expect from them, etc. Its also important to understand what is and what is not likely to happen in the next year curriculum and academic-wise and how that might impact you and your children. Note that this option and how it is implemented differs greatly per state. A few of the things that are currently within our control are: 1) our reactions to the current situation, 2) our attitudes, 3) our schedule and 4) our space. Florida is more strict, but does have umbrella schools that allow for smoother navigation of the requirements. The public school administrators where we are were extremely helpful in working with us to determine the best placement. Hopefully, you have found this content helpful, and are on your way to planning a (relativelythey are our awesome kids, after all) calm, fun and enjoyable adventure educating your children at home while working. 1) Draw out a rough daily schedule (or weekly, if your daily work schedules vary), allocating specific times for work and for schoolwork. Awake and Mindful has collected five yoga videos for kids that might be one option for a calm activity to start off the day. An example of this is a new kindergartener starting homeschool in the first year of school eligibility. The reality is that we need to accept that nothing is going to be perfect in this imperfect situation, so for the perfectionists out there (like myself), if we are surviving and our families are surviving, we are doing the best we can, and that is good enough. Although Im not fully convinced that this is the best approach to managing your time, the concept of Timeboxing is similar to the approach Ive recommended above. ), So, with this conflicting guidance and information, what should you do? Remember that you have options and that considering the short term and the long term will help smooth any future transitions for you and your children. As homeschoolers, they worked at their own pace in different subjects, which was great for their education and learning, but made the transition to an age-based grade-level determination a challenging one. 5) Choose activities to start your day off on a calm and positive note. Our toddler also participated, at an age-appropriate level, in virtual field trips, science experiments, and other educational activities with her sister. Another point to consider is that you have every right to make the time spent educating your children as high a priority as any other meeting, so schedule it. Then, your stress levels went through the roof when it didnt all go smoothly with calm, quiet kids and dedicated focus for you. It is important to remember this. They already do for other meetings and for lunch, right? (n.d.). ), As you think through the answers to these questions and others, I would like to share about our personal experience with the transition from homeschool to public school in Connecticut only a few years ago. Retrieved March 19, 2020 from https://awakeandmindful.com/best-kids-yoga-videos-on-youtube/, Bestow. There are actually more options than you would think, and you are your and your childrens best advocate. Common Sense Media, for example, provides a list of Kid-Safe Browsers and Search Sides, accessible here: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/lists/kid-safe-browsers-and-search-sites. While you are on a conference call today, have your kids stand next to your whiteboard or sit next to you coloring or doing some additional activity, and work with them to complete a bingo card based on what is said or done on your conference call. Parents need to be able to bring concerns to educators and administrators when things arent working for them and their children. If you have chosen to homeschool instead of opt into distance learning through your school, and the option is temporary, you may wish to file the notice of intent to homeschool and proceed to work closely with the school to ensure the smoothest transition back into the school when the time is right. 3) Clear out, setup and organize your dedicated storage area for your schoolwork and related supplies. (n.d.). If you are teaching one child, you can skip this section. This is not true, legally. (2020). ), Have your parent/guardian take a picture of your fort, with the list of equipment used and post it to Twitter using the hashtag #fortchallenge and tag @HomeschoolWork. What we sometimes forget, though, is that our kids are, as well. A lesson I learned the hard way many times is that they cant both be done (effectively) at the same time. Yours will too. (2020). Making sure others respect your time is actually easier than it might seem at first. Make a fort out of anything you like (Amazon boxes, sheets, blankets, etc.). Well, the best approach comes down to whether this is a temporary or long-term/permanent option for you and your family. The first major hurdle for the transition was figuring out what grade they should be in. There are so many different aspects and layers of trust, as well. Some organizations group activities in the following age groups, for example, Kindergarten to grade 2, grades 3-5, grades 6-8 and grades 9-12. It will make your planning much easier and less stressful if you acknowledge right now that you are one person and cannot be an effective fulltime teacher for 8 hours and full time worker for 8 hours, nor do you need to be. For those who are not experienced or knowledgeable about publishers used for K-12 education, the National University Library System has a list on their website, accessible here: https://nu.libguides.com/CommonCore/ccss_publishers. There are many misconceptions about homeschooling, in general, but especially with working and homeschooling. What is Montessori Education? State Virtual Schools. (2020). It is also very important to note, especially when you are reading and researching your options, that there are two extremes to the homeschooling debate or conversation, especially in Connecticut, but it is likely evident elsewhere, as well. While you are working on a schedule more customized to you, your kids and your work schedule, two companies, Khan Academy and Scholastic, have recently provided lesson plans and activities free for children who are now staying home due to school closings. The two most commonly tested subjects in standardized testing tend to be math and language arts, so when we homeschooled, we put the most emphasis on these two subjects, integrating the others as appropriate and as possible. I will gather and post a list of the supplies I always kept on hand soon. In work environments, especially when working on projects, everyone has clearly defined roles and responsibilities which are laid out on a project plan. (Remember: If you dont know where you are going, any road will get you there.

Here are a few options, as examples: CDC. 30 Gratitude Games and Activities for Kids to Practice Thankfulness. For other jobs, like when I administered analytics servers, I had more flexibility to design my work day around the desired school schedule. Enjoy! (n.d.). at the schools themselves, but something to be aware of when asking them for assistance of any kind. You will need to research your options in your area if this is a deciding factor for you.

Retrieved March 19, 2020, from https://www.headspace.com/covid-19, Khan Academy (2020). Looking at these from a more positive lens, as opposed to negatively identifying them as dysfunctions, the list of what teams need to thrive include: The foundation of working together as a group, especially in a stressful, unclear, unpredictable situation like remote learning during a global pandemic, is trust. 3) All members of the team should remember that discomfort leads to growth and work on being ok with being held accountable, with hearing feedback that they dont really want to hear, and with giving honest, constructive feedback to other members of the team when things arent working well. At those times, my kids were at the ages where they needed more hands-on help and their school workload was higher, so it worked well for us. (n.d.2).

However, with everything clearly defined and with trust, constructive conflict and commitment, holding each other accountable for their respective parts becomes much easier, and does not need to involve finger pointing or other negative non-constructive behaviors. As you wrap up the day, after allowing your kids to play and relax for the first day, take three deep breaths and smile, knowing that you completed some planning and organizing, and that you are on your way. Literally blocking it off on your calendar and communicating your schedule with your bosses and colleagues will make sure you are all on the same page and that everyone will respect that time. In my personal opinion, consistency in accountability, especially for online learners, is fundamental to their success, I believe, but it takes everyone involved being on the same page to maintain an appropriate level of accountability. The one thing that all of those spaces had in common was a dedicated space to store all of our supplies and work. Scholastic Learn at Home. You will need to determine the best balance and schedule for your family based on the ages you are teaching, the subjects you have selected, and the modes you have chosen to use to teach those subjects. 2) Develop open lines of communication between parents, educators and administrators. For example, Connecticut only requires a notice of withdrawal, legally, but does recommend (only a recommendation, not a legal requirement) a notice of intent to homeschool and portfolio review. Find a fort posted by someone else and draw a picture of their fort and estimate how many people you think could fit in their fort. How We Rate and Review.

4) *BONUS* You can also take an inventory of what you have for school supplies (paper, pencils, pens, markers, crayons, glue, scizzors, stapler, tape, whole punch, etc.). In Connecticut, the only thing you are legally required to do is file with your local board of education a letter of Notice of Withdrawal. (n.d.). Kid-Safe Browsers and Search Sites.

Focusonthefamily.com. You can then try to save each others sanity by intermittently saying or doing the things you know are on the card, so that everyone has a chance to keep their kids engaged, but quiet (because shhhwe have to hear what is going on, so we dont miss out on a bingo square!). Without clearly defined roles and goals, it is difficult to hold team members accountable for their contributions to the team and to the teams success. (Dont forget to include what you used to keep your fort together tape, staples, clothes pins, etc. How might it impact their learning? Before you start, identify an award they will earn if you get a bingo and/or if they black out the entire card by meeting the criteria of each bingo square on the entire bingo card. Grownandflown.com. In my classroom, I start my classes off by having my students volunteer to Tell me something good. The good things could literally be anything, and they have ranged from I had a good breakfast this morning, to My football team won last night. If you want to add variety or switch things up a bit, the Bestow Team created a list of 30 gratitude games and activities for kids, accessible here: https://hellobestow.com/blog/gratitude-games/. Here are a few suggestions of where we might start: 1) Develop (and ensure everyone knows and understands) clearly defined goals. Why not act like the dedicated school time is just another meeting? Age-Appropriate Chores. In the middle of the fall, we collectively decided that it was time for the girls to attend public school. Welltrainedmind.com. (Parents, dont be jealousyou can make forts, tooand even take your conference call from inside your fort, if you want to.). If you plan to homeschool long-term or permanently, focusing on this alignment might not be quite as important or impactful.

2) Block off the appropriate time for schoolwork on your work calendar and communicate these expectations to your manager and coworkers. Retrieved April 19, 2020, from https://www.roblox.com/, Wiess, S. R. (2020a).

While we await final proposals for opening of schools in the fall from states and local districts, we are all asking what if? What if schools open as usual in the fall at full capacity? Retrieved March 19, 2020, from https://www.steamsational.com/free-printable-homeschool-planners/, The new challenge to keep the kids occupied during conference calls is: FORT MAKING!!! Educators need to be able to express concerns to parents and administrators when things arent working for them, their class, or even particular students. No year, and no day, to be honest, looked the same for us, even when I tried to plan it to be the same, and my kids turned out just fine. If you have decided that you are not yet comfortable physically sending your kids back to a school building, thinking through some of the following questions might be helpful in deciding between distance learning (assuming this option is available/offered through your school) and homeschooling: 1) Do you want to choose your own curriculum, make your own lesson plans, etc., or do you want to assist your children in completing teacher-assigned activities? There are a few things to consider. To step back and take a look at what this truly means, it is helpful to have a lens through which to view this team and the relationships and responsibilities of the members of the team. Retrieved March 25, 2020, from https://www.commonsensemedia.org/, Common Sense Media. Science and art took the most preparation because we conducted experiments and made a variety of art and craft projects, so we split these days, so that they were not back-to-to back, allowing for some planning and preparation time in between. Retrieved March 25, 2020, from https://www.commonsense.org/education/digital-passport, Common Sense Media. I was in the same situation as many of you, having to figure out what to do to keep the toddler busy while working with the preschooler. You can use an existing bingo card, plenty of which are posted for free online. that you will be bound by? Will you and your children be ok with this or able to handle any repetition or boredom by supplementing with other activities? Awake and Mindful. (2020). Retrieved March 25, 2020, from https://www.commonsense.org/education/digital-compass, Common Sense Media. You will need to decide, based on your family values and rules about electronics and screen time, your work schedule and flexibility, ages of your children, and learning preferences and styles, what modes are best for you for each student and each subject. They had to tell us the recommended ages by Common Sense Media, parents and kids and were only allowed to watch movies, play games or download/use apps that were 2 years over the lowest age recommended out of the three. Just take a few deep breaths and enjoy the time you have with your kids, because they really do grow up so fast, and this pandemic and chaos will eventually pass. (This is in no way intended to imply that they wont help you, since we have always experienced the exact opposite, especially when in direct contact with teachers, administrators, etc. Calling it schoolwork for the toddler made her feel like she was getting to do something cool that her big sister was doing, while really just doing what she would have been anyway. At this point, state and local boards of education are doing the best they can with the little information they have to plan for something none of us have ever had to deal with before. (Also, in Connecticut, if your children were never enrolled in a public or private school, no notice of any kind needs to be filed. (Many states do not allow homeschoolers to participate in activities at the public school, but some states do. Free Printable Homeschool Planners. When I started homeschooling and working from home, we had one preschooler and one toddler. In all honesty, because we got sick of answering the question of Can we watch? questions, we came up with a specific rule to guide their choices. (2018). For later years (grades 3-5 and 6-8) we elected to study math and language arts every day, and study science, history/social studies, art and music one day per week each, leaving the additional day (which happened to be Friday for us) for making up work we didnt complete earlier in the week.

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